Step 1: Admitting You Need Help

Swipe to next screen, swipe to next screen, open folder, dammit wrong folder, swipe to next screen, tap on another folder, resort to searching.

Does this sound familiar? Is this really the best way to organize your smartphone? Is it easy, quick or efficient? Do you spent too much time trying to remember what folder or screen a rarely used app was placed? Does your phone feel cluttered?

There’s a better way.

Place all your icons on one screen. It will be difficult. Decisions will need to be made. Swiping on your homescreen and nothing happens is jarring after years of aimless swiping. I’m here to help you make the transition. Once you do, your mind will be at peace and you’ll wonder how you ever lived with a chaotic mess of an iPhone homescreen.

Moving To One iPhone Homescreen

Moving to a single homescreen simply requires moving all the apps to one homescreen. You will place some apps into folders and others directly on the home screen. Simple enough?

The difficult part is deciding which apps deserve to be on your iPhone homescreen and which ones are relegated to the lowly folder level. For starters take any app you access on a daily basis and put it on your homescreen. Everything else into folder. You might only have 4 – 5 apps you use on a daily basis. Good. You know have plenty of real estate to expand. Over the next few days, if you find yourself searching for an app more than a few times a week you can promote the app to the homescreen. Repeat as needed.

Next, focus on organizing apps on your iPhone homescreen in a logical way. Case in point. I was listening to a new podcast called Cortex with the popular YouTuber CGP Grey and Myke Hurley. In the podcast, they bantered how they organize their iPhone’s homescreen. As you can see below, CGP takes on the one screen method while Myke goes with the typical chaos method. Which one do you like better?

iOS Homescreens

Grey’s setup has one screen, two blank rows, and even leaves the dock with only three icons. He has well over 150 apps. The apps that Grey accesses frequently are not in a folder and further organized by using themed rows. First row – folders. Second row – reading. Third row – audio/music. Forth row – writing and messaging. Grey’s is calming. It’s manageable. It’s easy enough to remember which folder you put an app in when there’s only 4.

Myke on the other hand goes with the “clown vomiting on the screen” method (CGP Grey’s words, not mine). There are 3 pages of full of icons. This equates to 76 app positions to “memorize” (see his second screen and third screen if you’re curious). At this point, you might as well search every time you need an app. There’s no semblance of order. It’s clunky, slow, and inconvenient. It’s how most iPhones are “organized.”

CGP Grey’s iPhone homescreen isn’t the only way you can arrive at one screen. Some people recommend using folders named with verbs – a folder for Driving, Exercising, Procrastinating. Organizing folders by verb name is an easy way to remember where an app was placed.

Oftentimes, it will be faster and easier to search instead of even going into a folder. Even so, it will still be faster with only one screen. You will start typing the app’s name in less time than it’d take to find the right screen, folder, and icon.

Making Your One Homescreen Easier To Use

Ever heard of Launch Center Pro? You will notice on both Grey and Myke’s iPhone screenshots above. Launch is a folder on steroids. You can create common tasks with a click of a button. It will save you time, clicks, and screen real estate.

Find a decent wallpaper. Please? Pick something dark with minimal detail. It provides contrast to the icons and makes them easier to read and identify. Dark backgrounds are also easier on the eyes if you need to turn your screen on at night. It doesn’t have to be black but don’t pull a Myke.

I’ll even go one step further and give you three quick links to wallpapers to make the change now. When you click the links, make sure to select your model of iPhone so it’s the proper size.

Nightfall at Lake Aurora

Earth Asleep

Galactic Carpet

Another practical point. Hold your phone as you normally do. Which icons can your thumb most comfortably hit without stretching? Put your most frequently accessed apps here.

One last thing. Can we talk about your badge app notifications?
  iPhone Badge Icons

First, why do you have 1,207 unread emails? Also, why do you want a constant reminder of it? Badge icons should only turned on if you need to keep track of it. Messages makes sense, Phone makes sense, even Mail is fine as long as you intend to keep up with it.  If you ever go a week without clearing out the unread notifications within an app, do yourself a favor and just turn it off. It’s obviously not that important. If you find yourself going into an app simply to “read” whatever is causing the badge notification – turn it off. It’s a waste of time.

  • Click on Settings
  • Click on Notifications
  • Click on App-That-Has-Too-Many-Unread-Notifications
  • Disable “Badge App Icon”

The Checklist

You’ve been following along closely right? Here’s the checklist in case you missed something:

▢  One homescreen (at least give it a try for a couple weeks).

▢  Folders organized by verbs or some other logical naming scheme.

▢  Checked into using Launch Center Pro or a similar workflow management app.

▢  A relatively dark, not overly detailed wallpaper that is in no way reminiscent of clown vomit.

▢  Badge app notifications are under control. Anything unintended for more than a week is turned off.

▢  A feeling of relaxation from a cleaner, easier to use iPhone.

P.S. I asked a few of the TechDissected writers how they organize their homescreens. I’m pleased to see most of them were already following (most) of my advice.

Cliff Wade (third image) does have two screens. However, the second screen only has one folder dedicated to Apple’s uninstallable apps. I’ll let it slide.

iTunes: Launch Center Pro
Website: Cortex Podcast

About the author

Kael Kanczuzewski

I am the IT counselor for family & friends. I am platform agnostic with a range of devices spanning Apple, PC's and Android.

I am a tinkerer of gadgets, enjoyer of the outdoors, cooker of meals, and brewer of drinks.